Do you love art? I certainly do. Especially works like Jeff Koons’ Michael Jackson and Bubbles (courtesy of Artsy).
While I’m not an art collector myself, I enjoy visiting art galleries and museums. I relish uncovering the rich and multi-layered narratives behind each and every artwork, immersing myself in aesthetic experiences which transport me from the ordinary to the sublime.
Founded in 1988 by Ms Ruth Abram, the Tenement Museum is a historic house museum located in the Lower East Side of New York City. Occupying a former block of apartments and shops, it depicts the gritty lives of immigrants to New York and the US from the late 1900s to early 20th century.
Tina and Ethan posing next to an animatronic Apatosaurus
“Roar, Growl, Hiss, Grr, Screech and Scream!”
Welcome to the world of the fabulous dinosaurs (also known as the “terrible lizards”) at Dinosaurs-Live!, a recently opened exhibition at the Singapore Science Centre. Happening from now til 26 Feb 2012, the exhibition showcases almost 50 life-sized dinosaurs, reptiles and other prehistoric creatures brought realistically back to life by awesome animatronics.
As part of my recent work trip to London, I spent many hours visiting numerous museums and art galleries in the city, topped by a full day meeting with the Tate Group. The institutions I visited include the Tate Modern, National Gallery London, National Portrait Gallery, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, V&A Museum, and the British Museum. While the trip was exhausting – we’ve put together a comprehensive report on its outcomes – there were many learning points that we have gleaned from some of the world’s leading cultural institutions.
Here are 20 highlights of my trip, in no particular order. Note that this list is quite museum-centric as that’s where I spent most of my time. Each highlight is accompanied by a photograph.
An eye catching installation at the entrance of the V&A Museum.
Aerial view of the Smithsonian museums in Washington DC (source: Tripadvisor)
As part of the Business Of Heritage conference, I had the pleasure of learning about how the Smithsonian Institution built its world class reputation as a leading museum brand. Delivering the talk was Ms Elizabeth Duggal, Director of International Museum Professional Education Programme of Smithsonian Institution and Co-Chair of ICOM United States.
Here are some of the key points of the talk which I thought would be useful to share.
I love reading Nina Simon’s Museum 2.0 blog for her cutting insights on stuff happening in my neck of the woods. One of the issues that she recently wrote about – audience development – is something that museums and art galleries in Singapore are also grappling with.
In her post, Nina questioned the need for museums to organise “hip” events to attract younger audiences at the expense of alienating a broader more diverse crowd. While many museums have shifted from being a “cabinet of curiosities” for an elite few to “community destinations”, the question now arises whether their activities should be narrowly focused on distinct segments or appeal more broadly across visitor groups.
Set in the 15th century, the museum’s centrepiece revolves around the story of legendary Admiral Zheng He who launched many maritime voyages from China to the Western oceans with a fleet of 300 shops. Through highly interactive features and realistic replicas, the stories of exotic lands and seas from the past comes alive.
Occupying a disused power station in the heart of London beside the River Thames, Tate Modern is one of the world’s leading modern art museum. With an impressive display of art from 1900 to the present, Tate Modern attracts some five million visitors annually, and is one of a family of four Tate galleries in the UK (which includes Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives).